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Yaya still a Toure de force for City, says Pellegrini

By Phil Medlicott

Published 23/01/2016

On the move: Yaya Toure could leave City in the summer
On the move: Yaya Toure could leave City in the summer

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists Yaya Toure is focused on the current push for silverware and not thinking about which club he might be playing for next season.

Toure's controversial agent Dimitri Seluk was this week quoted as saying of the midfielder, whose contract with City runs until 2017: "He will not move in January. However in the summer things can change. We are ready to listen to any offers that are on the table.''

When asked about that yesterday, Pellegrini admitted "at the end of the season you never know what will happen with anyone", while stressing how important it was for all players to "think in the present" rather than about the future, but he also said he was convinced Toure was absolutely of that mindset.

"I don't want to try to answer to every agent who talks about different things," Pellegrini said.

"I know what Yaya thinks. I think that Yaya is mentally absolutely involved in this season, and that he is not thinking about his future.

"He wants to continue being the same important player that he has been for this team in other years."

Seluk has made remarks at various times in the past to suggest 32-year-old Ivory Coast international Toure may be set to leave City.

One such occasion was at the end of last season and when that was put to Pellegrini as he was asked how much of a problem Seluk's comments were becoming, the manager said: "And what happened? Nothing - it was his opinion and nothing more."

Pellegrini - who says he is happy with his squad and not thinking about January sales or signings - was speaking ahead of tonight's Premier League trip to West Ham, where he wants his players to underline their title credentials.

City are very much in the title race, currently lying third in the table and only trailing second-placed Leicester and leaders Arsenal by a point, but their results have been inconsistent, with those registered on the road particularly troubling for Pellegrini, the Blues winning only one of their past seven away league games.

That victory came in their last - a 2-1 come-from-behind triumph at Watford - and City go into the clash against the seventh-placed Hammers on the back of a comprehensive 4-0 home thrashing of Crystal Palace last weekend.

Pellegrini is keen to see the attacking football from his side continue, and said: "We must try to arrive as soon as we can at the top of the table.

"It is not easy but we must try to demonstrate why we are fighting for the title."

Striker Sergio Aguero, who netted twice against Palace, has also urged the team to build on that victory and the one at Watford.

"I think that now we've managed to break that run of not picking up victories on the road it's very important for us," Aguero said.

"We have to display the sort of form away that we consistently display at home, where we know that we are very, very strong."

City have midfielder Fernandinho, who was out for three games due to a muscle injury, back available for tonight's contest.

Aleksandar Kolarov has been ruled out after coming off in the Palace match with a calf problem, joining fellow defenders Eliaquim Mangala (hamstring) and Vincent Kompany (calf), plus midfielder Samir Nasri (hamstring) and striker Wilfried Bony (calf), on the sidelines.

Belfast Telegraph

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